Of Mice and Men- Background info

The Great Depression, The American Dream and John Steinbeck

The Great Depression

The Great Depression was the biggest economic crisis in the western industrial world. Lasting from 1929-1939, it is the longest and deepest downturn in the economy. This began with a stock market crash in October, 1929. Consumer spending and investment dropped, leading to many companies laying off employees. An estimated 13 to 15 million were unemployed. President FDR put in relief measures and helped many through this rough time. He was the only president to hold office 4 times.

By Inauguration day, every U.S. state ordered all the banks to close by the end of the fourth wave. However, FDR projected calm energy optimism saying that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. In FDR's first 100 days in office, he aimed to stabilize agriculture and industrial production.


The Great Depression: Crash Course US History #33

John Steinbeck

Best Sellers and Common Themes

Steinbeck's Early Years

John Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas California. He grew up with 3 sisters and was a very smart but shy kid. At the age of 14 he decided he wanted to become a writer and would lock himself in his room and write. He went to Stanford University in 1919 and he didn't find much use in his studies later in life but his parents were very pleased with his decision for college. Throughout school, John left and came back but left for good in 1925 without a degree.


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The American Dream

The American Dream is the claim that every man is created equally with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The american dream is also a virtue in which life improves throughout time and gets better and better every generation. Although the American dream is a grand one, it is a bit of a stretch. This idea has not been maintained to the modern day. Back in the 1900's, it was not hard to find a well paying job without a college degree. Today, it is almost impossible.

The American dream during the great depression was the possibility for a better life for everyone no matter what position they hold in society. It was a vision of a better and richer life. Today, the American dream is to grow up and graduate from college. The goal of the dream is to grow up and become successful in life. However, the ambition for higher success than your parents is not present today like it has been in the past.


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